Also In Global Health News: HP/NGO Partnership; Polio Vaccination Campaign In Pakistan; Disaster Deaths; Pediatric AIDS Program In Zimbabwe

HP Partners With South African NGO In New Type Of Collaboration

“Hewlett-Packard is reshaping its policies on giving away money to nonprofit causes. Now the company will not just give away money. It will also donate the expertise of its employees to build solutions for nonprofits,” VentureBeat reports. Paul Ellingstad, a director in the office of global social innovation at HP, said thinking shifted “about 14 months ago.” The company has “focused on education and health” and wants to ensure its “philanthropic efforts are more effective,” he said (Takahashi, 1/25). In collaboration with mothers2mothers, which works to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, “[n]ew database technology and cloud and mobile services from HP will convert the current paper-based patient records system into a digital community that enables easy sharing of information across the m2m network of more than 700 sites in sub-Saharan Africa,” according to a press release (1/25).  

Pakistan Launches Emergency Polio Vaccination Campaign

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari “Monday formally launched the National Emergency Action Plan 2011 for Polio Eradication,” ONLINE International News Network reports (1/25).  The campaign aims “to immunise 32 million children under the age of five against polio” in an effort “to reverse an alarming surge in cases last year,” the Guardian writes. Under the plan, “armed police and paramilitary soldiers will protect teams of vaccinators in the most dangerous areas, a presidential spokesman said.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing $65 million to fund the effort (Walsh, 1/23).

Disaster Deaths Reach High Level In 2010, U.N. Report Says

Research (.pdf) from the U.N. Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) found that “2010 was one of the worst years on record for natural disasters over the past two decades, leaving nearly 297,000 people dead,” Agence France-Presse reports (1/24). “The top two most lethal disasters – the 12 January earthquake in Haiti, which killed over 222,500 people, as well as the Russian heat wave in summer, which caused about 56,000 fatalities made 2010 the deadliest years in at least two decades,” according to a press release (.pdf) issued by the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. “The largest share of the pie is from the Americas, North and South America. Essentially again this is due to Haiti, but it is also due to Chile,” Debarati Guha-Sapir, director of CRED, said, adding that the Americas “generally do not top the list of people dying from natural disasters,” VOA News reports. The report also said Asia experienced fewer disaster deaths than the Americas and Europe in 2010, but it was the “highest affected continent, with nearly 90 percent of all people affected by disasters living in Asia” (Schlein, 1/24). 

VOA News Examines 5-Year Program To Eliminate Pediatric AIDS In Zimbabwe

VOA News reports on the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s five-year $45 million program that aims “to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.” The program receives support from the London-based Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. “Zimbabwe was picked for two reasons. One, because over the last five or six years, we have seen significant progress in the parts of the country where we have been working. But more importantly, the overall reason was that relatively few pregnant women in Zimbabwe have access to health services. And that’s particularly true in rural areas,” said Philip O’Brien, the Glaser Foundation’s executive vice-president for communications, advocacy and development (DeCapua, 1/21).

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